“Smallville” alum Allison Mack has been sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay a $20,000 fine for her role as a recruiter for NXIVM, a sex cult that represented itself as a self-help group.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York announced the federal judge’s sentence on Twitter Wednesday. Mack, 38, was arrested in April 2018 and pleaded guilty to racketeering charges a year later. NPR reported that federal prosecutors urged leniency on the actress’ behalf, noting she cooperated in the case against the organization’s leader, Keith Raniere.
Raniere was convicted in June 2019 on racketeering and sex trafficking charges, and sentenced to 120 years behind bars in October 2020. Mack was accused of convincing women they could solve their emotional problems by having sex with Raniere, allowing themselves to be branded and providing the organization with compromising videos and letters in which they made false claims.
Before she was sentenced, Mack penned a letter to “those who have been harmed by my actions.” “It is now of paramount importance for me to say, from the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry,” Mack stated, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “I threw myself into the teachings of Keith Raniere with everything I had,” she added. “I believed, whole-heartedly, that his mentorship was leading me to a better, more enlightened version of myself. I devoted my loyalty, my resources, and, ultimately, my life to him. This was the biggest mistake and regret of my life.”
Sentencing guidelines for racketeering charges suggest a minimum of 14 years in prison, so Mack’s three-year sentence is regarded by detractors as relatively light, But The Independent quoted U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis as explaining his reasoning in a sentencing memo. Garaufis said he believed Mack had been “ensnared in Mr Raniere’s coercive and manipulative web,” is now remorseful for her actions and has been making “significant progress towards rehabilitating [herself.]” Crucially, he mentioned her decision to cooperate with authorities against Raniere, providing evidence and key details about Mr Raniere’s role in DOS, a secret organization within NXIVM in which some women were recruited as slaves to masters.